While it’s easy to learn proper skating techniques, blocks, falls, and recoveries, learning to become more aggressive can be a challenge. With the right training, anyone can become a derby super star.
Aggressive skating is a technical advantage in derby and the best skaters are always aggressive as well as defensive in their movements. Positional blocking is effective, but aggressive manuevers take a good skater to great.
Tips and Tricks
Get Comfortable: The best way to increase your aggressive skating abilities is to become one with your skates. Aggressive skaters know what their skates can do and trust them when skating. Try leaning more when performing crossovers and skate the edges of your wheels. This helps you to learn how your skates and wheels operate and allows you to begin trusting them as you roll out.
Learn to Lean: Practice leaning when you skate. Lean into turns and practice sliding stops (slide to the side with both feet together). Partner up with another skater and practice leaning into each other while skating. Alternate between shoulder leans and hip leans until they feel natural. Work on keeping your wheels from locking with your partners wheels and try to stay connected while you lap the track.
Hit Everything: Use your hips and shoulders as much as possible throughout the day. Hip check doors open, the shower wall, trash cans, etc. Shoulder check the same way. Look around you and find something to hit and keep on hitting it! I used a concrete pillar in a parking garage for quite awhile. Practicing hits helps you to feel confident when engaging another skater on the track and the more comfortable you are with it, the more aggressively you will skate.
List Your Strengths: Knowing your advantages can also increase aggressive skating abilities. When you realize how awesome you are at certain skills, confidence increases and helps when attempting other skills. Track your progress and set goals. Be happy with your accomplishments and journal your milestones so you can look back when feeling down. Reaching new goals will help you to attempt more complicated skills and improve your aggressiveness at the same time.
Have No Fear: Learn to use your pads and trust them like you trust your skates. Knowing how to fall diminshes fear and hesitation when engaging in a pack. Practicing hits is the best way to lose your fear, so find another skater and practice hits until you can send her (or him) flying. Having confidence in your ability to land an awesome hit allows you to hit harder and more often, instead of hesitating.
Stop Hesitating: This goes along with the saying, “Hit first and think later”. If you have mastered the other tips, there is no reason left to hesitate. Hit, hit, hit and then look back at what you could have done better. The best skaters go all out, and don’t hold back. Remember: the harder you hit, the more respect you are showing for the other skater. Hesitating can also cause injuries, so go for it!
Leave Your Comfort Zone: When skating, try things that make you feel uncomfortable. Challenge yourself as often as you can and never tell yourself something is impossible. Try hitting the skate park or take a long outdoor adventure. Jump over cracks and lines or something larger.
Pump Yourself Up: Push yourself harder by making noises. Growl, grunt, yell…do what you can do to get amped up. Make the conscience decision not to hold back anything, and then put your all into each hit you deliver. Try to push it even more each time, until you are hitting like a super beast every time!
Still need help to deliver those hard hits? Email 16 Wheeled Weirdos at: email@example.com for league training and bootcamps.
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